Council moves to raise water and sewer rates


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Greenville City Council took a step toward raising water and sewer rates for residents beginning next March. The Utilities Committee submitted a report to council guiding the city toward an increase in water and sewer rates, as well as an increase in bulk water rates. The council approved the report, but legislation was not presented.

According to the report submitted by Clarence Godwin, chairman, Chris Norris, vice-chairman and Brian Brown, member, increased water rates earlier this year by 10 percent, but the city continues to see an increase in the cost of chemicals. The committee wrote that chemicals rose 10 percent in 2022 and 17 percent in 2023.

The committee advised, “To keep up with inflation, it is recommended to council that we increase the water and sewer rates by five percent effective March 1, 2024.”

The committee also advised council to approve an increase in bulk water rates. The current rate is $12.50 per 1,000 gallons along with a $17 fee for a key fob to access the water. The committee suggests raising the rate to $20 per 1,000 gallons with a minimum of $1,000 gallons as well as charge $20 for a new customer account and $20 for the key fob. The committee wrote, “This will allow the city to pay for improvements to the location.” The committee would like the new rate to effect Sept. 1, 2023.

The committee also addressed the rate for water and the cost of a hydrant meter for new construction. The committee proposed requiring a $3,500 deposit for the hydrant meter but will return the deposit if the meter is returned in the same condition. The water rate will match the proposed rate for bulk water at $20 per 1,000 gallons.

The committee has yet to submit a report on the rates for water usage by the ethanol plant. Committee Chair Godwin asked for an extension on that part of the report. The city’s administration is working to obtain additional information. Council President John Baumgardner approved the extension for the first meeting in 2024.

Although some residents have already completed repairs on their sidewalks, Safety Service Director Ryan Delk said there were still a lot that needed to be repaired. Council members approved a resolution to advertise for bids for the completion of Phase 1 of the project.

Delk is hoping to have the bids back and the contractor approved and work beginning by mid-September. He’s hoping to have most of the work completed “before the snow flies,” but the contractor will have until spring to finish the work on Phase 1. As discussed previously, if the city does the work the property owner will have the option to pay up front or have the cost assessed on their property taxes.

Delk noted the city was completing the process of the concrete planing this week. If concrete sections had less than a ¼-inch separation, the city was able to plane the concrete to make it level and save homeowners the cost of replacing the slabs.

With much of Phase 1 yet to be completed, council is already looking forward to Phase 2. On Tuesday, council approved a resolution to enter into contract with Choice One Engineering to study the sidewalks for the next phase and determine which ones will need repair. Phase 2 will concentrate on the east side of Greenville as well as the area where the former North School was located.

In other business, council learned:

Ohio Street is nearly complete, with the exception of traffic light installation.

The contractor for the waterline installation on State Route 502 has agreed to push back the start date. According to Delk, the contractor will not begin work until Oct. 1. The city and the contractor agreed to push back the date due to the Prairie Days Festival at the Darke County Parks Nature Center at Shawnee Prairie on the weekend of Sept. 23 and 24.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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